Heat wave sets new ERPPD record for electrical usage

For most of the summer, the weather has been quite mild. There was that one heavy storm that caused the entire town of Elgin to go into a power outage, otherwise the weather has been decent.
Towards the beginning of summer, temperatures were still quite cool. In fact, the last week of May had a cold spell with temperatures only reaching into mid to high fifties. But as summer went on, the heat slowly started to rise. Temperatures ranged from high seventies to high eighties, even reaching the nineties in the middle of June. Nonetheless, temperatures throughout the summer have been manageable.
Within these past couple of days, the summer heat has been all everyone talks about. Tuesday’s heat was only the beginning with a high of 97 degrees and a bright sun. Wednesday’s high of 97 degrees with high humidity and little wind, walking outside felt like hitting a brick wall compared to the nicely air conditioned buildings. And even though the high of Thursday was only 82 degrees, the humidity alone would make anyone want to stay inside.
This past week’s high temperatures had its effect on everyone. One thing in particular that is has affected has been the electricity usage. According to General Manager of Elkhorn Rural Public Power District out of Battle Creek Tom Rudloff, the summer season is one of the peak seasons for electrical usage. Between AC use in homes, irrigation, and more, Rudloff said “new records have been set the past couple of days.” The previous record for electrical usage was set in 2012, with 126 megawatts being used. However, now the record has been set to 131 megawatts. And during the shorter months of less electricity usage like April or October, their system can go to as low as 20 megawatts. Rudfloff also said the electrical company has a planning process for the predicted electrical use. “Absolutely we have a planning process. We have a 4-year and 10-year formal planning. But we are constantly paying attention to the weather.” According to Rudloff, the Elkhorn Rural Public Power District is “here to take care of our customers.” However, he also advises them to be “cognitive” of electrical use, such as avoid running things you don’t need, shutting things off, etc. To read this story in full, turn to this week’s edition of the Elgin Review.